Last year, y’all seemed to love following along with what my favorite reads of 2021 were! This year I am keeping my reading goal of 24 books for the year; given that I’m working on getting my own novel pitched to agents, I’m not going for a stretch reading goal in 2022. I’ll be updating this post as the year progresses, but I track all of my reading goals in Goodreads, feel free to follow along or share yours!
TITLE: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
DESCRIPTION: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
TITLE: Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson
DESCRIPTION: Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.
But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.
Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.
Previous Reads This Year
TITLE: : Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez
MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆
MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:
Flamenco dancing, enemies to lovers, magic, and dragons?! Sign me up for all of it!
- “Together We Burn” has everything I wanted in a fantasy and more. It is jam packed with creative and imaginative concepts that blend real-world culture with fantasy stakes.
- At times I felt that the ‘villain’ of the book felt a bit predictable, I felt that way because Isabel did such a great job at constructing the character arc that it could only mean one person was responsible.
- Ibañez does an amazing job writing the tension between Zarela and the patriarchy, Zarela and her father (+ his expectations), as well as Zarela and the love interest, Arturo!
- The magical world she built blends classic components of Spanish culture and heritage with fantastical elements.
- Sidebar – I absolutely loved the use of Spanish words/phrases/foods interspersed throughout the book. I never had to look anything up because the author did such a good job of contextualizing her word choices and made the book & world building richer for it!
* I received this ARC through NetGalley, which has not impacted my review in any way *
TITLE: : The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆
MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:
- If you have anxiety or mental health struggles that focus specifically on worries then take the information in this book with a grain of salt
- I really enjoyed the perspective that this book gave me. I am naturally a worrier and have had anxiety for most of my life. Those things are going anywhere so I can choose to fight it or choose to accept it, but the choice is ultimately mine and so are the consequences.
- I may not be responsible for other people’s actions but I am responsible for how I react to those actions, whether or not they’re valid.
TITLE: : Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long
MY RATING: ☆☆☆ 1/2
MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS: (I received this ARC through NetGalley, which has not impacted my review in any way)
- This story has pretty solid world building; a barely livable ice planet that hosts a yearly sled race for valuable materials that the main character Sena gets roped into. I thought the author did a great job of balancing the elements of science-fiction that still left readers feeling grounded in the reality of this icy world.
- Sena’s relationship with Iska, the wolf she ends up paired with, is heartwarming despite taking place in an arctic tundra. You see a lot of growth within Sena because of Iska, and at times it felt like Iska was the main plot driving character of the book instead of Sena.
- There are a lot of sentence echoes, where either one word is repeated multiple times within the same paragraph or the exact same thing is said but in a slightly different way multiple times to drive a point home. I can tell that the story has good bones but in my opinion this book needs a heavy-handed editor who can polish this so it doesn’t feel as monotonous with the language.
- It also took me a while to actually get to a point in the story where I felt truly invested in the plot or where this might take the main character. The stakes don’t feel raised at all until what feels like 50% of the way through the novel, which is when the race actually starts.
- I also felt that the author’s attempt to address racism, while it is to be commended, started to feel very heavy-handed. Sena’s culture was constantly pushed to the forefront in her interactions with others. It got to a point where I was like “I get it, she’s half-scavver and people have opinions about it”, but there wasn’t a need to mention it nearly as often as it was.
- I do think that this is a solid debut; there are a lot of great things to work with and build upon. I still found myself curious as to what was going to happen next. While a lot of this book didn’t land for me, I do believe that the premise is promising but some of the polishing just needs tightening up.
2022 Releases I'm Excited For
While my ‘to be read’ list is always growing, here are the books dropping this year that I’m excited for!
- Some Mistakes Were Made by Kristen Dwyer
- Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams
- Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin
- The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
- Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
- I, Mona Lisa by Natasha Solomons
- Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
- A Novel Obsession by Caitlin Barasch
- Beasts of Ruin by Ayana Gray
- Gallant by VE Schwab
- Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
- Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez
- Book Lovers by Emily Henry
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